We make thousands of decisions every day. Whether to go left, or right, what to eat for lunch, whether to work on our resume now or tomorrow, etc. But we also sometimes have to choose how to respond to a job offer on the other side of the country, what to do each day in our relationships with our family, friends or significant others.
Most of these decisions get answered easily, via habits and systems. You try a few different routes from point A to point B, then you know which one to take given the current time and day. A small learning phase, then you refine your choice, and it becomes a habit, no worry or willpower required anymore. You’re an expert at choosing the best itinerary home.
This mechanism of testing, refining and creating habits allows you to make 99% of your decisions without conscious thought.
But what of the big decisions?
Tackling big(ger) decisions
When you’re thinking about a big purchase or a change in your relationship status, whether starting a new one or changing the course of a current one, relying on unconscious behaviors is usually not the best option.
Believing you can make a purely objective decision is kinda foolish (unless you’re a sentient robot, in which case, I’d love to hear from you!).
Some people are controlled by their fears and past experiences and don’t even realize it.
But if you want to make the best decision, then you need to understand how you are influenced by emotions and past behaviors.
Let’s say you are considering a big investment, whether it’s an expansion for your business, a training, or hiring a coach to help you reach your goals.
All your past experiences and beliefs about money will come to the surface: Is it worth it? Will I make the most of the situation? Will I be able to get enough return over investment to justify doing it? Will I fail miserably? What if it doesn’t work, will I just be into more debt? Will I get screwed or taken advantage of? Isn’t it better to wait until I’m 100% sure it’s worth it?
All these questions are valid questions. They’re also rooted in fear.
But that fear is part of you and its job is to protect you from dangerous and harmful behaviors. The current situation, in most cases, is fine, as in, you can survive in it (as you have done in the past). But change, oh, change is scary.
When these questions and worries come up, do not try to escape them.
Instead, answer them: It looks like it’s worth it, or I wouldn’t consider it. I’ll do my best to make the most of it. Estimates point to good ROI. Of course, I might fail, but there’s a good chance I’ll succeed, and even if I fail, it’s not gonna be the end of the world. Maybe I’ll have to take more debt, but it will be good debt, that is serving my goal and improving my business. Of course, I might be taken advantage of, but when I make a conscious decision, it’s highly unlikely. There is no way, ever, to be 100% sure of the results of any action that’s worth doing, I probably shouldn’t let it stop me from working towards my dreams.
Answering these fears doesn’t mean that you should do any and all actions that you consider, but it will help you to not be controlled by your emotions.
Getting in bed with someone
Whether it’s literal or not, getting in bed with someone is a commitment that requires exposing yourself and trusting someone else enough to depend on them.
A very similar set of questions will arise, and you will need to address them appropriately.
But while money circulate, can be lost and acquired somewhat easily, a relationship with someone requires stronger commitment, and in many cases will be life-changing.
A little voice inside you might ask “You’re going out with this dumb*ss? Are you crazy? There’s way better out there!” or “You’re paying HOW MUCH for coaching? Who’s this guy? Can’t you simply read a couple books and get off your ass?”. If it’s not the little voice, it might be your friends or colleagues.
Observe these questions, observe the emotions that create them. Fear, fear of failing, fear of disappointment, or simply self-esteem problems. Identify where it comes from, it will help you ease the pressure and make a more informed decision.
In the end, it’s all in your gut
Your gut might tell you to go for it, or it might tell you to pass. The problem is that fear is also in the gut, so it makes it tricky to distinguish fear trying to protect you from failure and disappointment and a genuine feeling that some path is right or wrong for you in your current situation.
I find the trick is to address all possible sources of fear first, be aware of them, clear them with EFT or some other method if possible, and when fear is handled, let whatever emotion underneath to express itself.
Imagine each path in succession.
If you feel an expansion and excitement at possibilities, go for it. If you feel constriction and dread, just say no and move on.
So, is it time for you to say no, or to go all in?
Answer in the comments below.